In this article, I describe my career as a pracademic. Over several decades, I have been able to maintain a substantial private practice in public dispute resolution and also meet the teaching, advising, and research demands of an academic career. I have achieved this by engaging primarily in action research: I begin with “problems” in the field and work collaboratively with stakeholders to generate “solutions” that meet their interests. I then document and analyze these interventions to build prescriptive theory through systematic reflection on my own involvement.
In this article, I discuss how I have been able to achieve success as a “pracademic,” but also consider the challenges that young scholars who seek to engage in practice confront today. I further describe some possible strategies for successfully integrating a substantial practice component into an academic career in conflict resolution.